Washington office offers training for poverty activists

February 19, 2002

The Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations will participate in a consultation on domestic poverty reducing programs, to be held in Washington, D.C. March 13-15.

In 2002, the U.S. Congress must reauthorize three critical domestic poverty reducing programs that serve families and children living in poverty in the United States: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Food Stamp Program and the Child Care Development Block Grant.

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church and the Executive Council have passed a number of resolutions supporting these programs, including a 1997 resolution (A050a) which directed the Office of Government Relations to 'urge members of Congress to be responsible for the passage of welfare reform legislation which would aid poor people rather than penalize them and to increase funding for welfare programs.'

The Episcopal Church is a member communion with the National Council of Churches of Christ, the sponsor of the event. Staff from the Office of Government Relations and from the Episcopal Church Center in New York will participate and lead some of the programs and events planned. Participants will have an opportunity to receive media and lobby training and issue briefings, meet with legislators and staff on Capitol Hill to advocate for poverty reducing programs, and develop strategies for congressional debate and grassroots activities at home.

Registration for TANF Action Days for Poverty Reduction is $50 and includes the cost of materials and dinner on Wednesday and lunch on Thursday. The National Council of Churches website includes a page on reauthorization of TANF and related programs that is frequently updated. Deadline for registration is March 5, 2002. To register, contact the Office of Government Relations at 1-800-228-0515 or email kbull@episcopalchurch.org.